SaaS Feedback: Everything You Need to Know About Collecting & Using It
Collecting SaaS feedback is essential towards building a sticky product.
The worldwide spend on SaaS products is predicted to reach $145 billion USD by 2022. Even a small piece of that pie can mean a really great business for you.
We have one profitable, bootstrapped SaaS business already (Curator) and are currently building our second SaaS company (Frill).
We consider ourselves obsessed with collecting customer feedback. But we want it to be easy and painless for our product team and for our customers.
In this post, learn the different types of feedback and how to organize all of it in one place that helps you engage your users.
Types of SaaS feedback
86% of companies expect at least 80 percent of their software needs to be met by SaaS after 2022. More companies are buying more SaaS products than ever before.
To capture more of the market and keep your customers happy, you need to listen to feedback.
These are the main types of feedback that SaaS companies get from their target customers and actual users.
1. Pre-prototyping feedback
Definition of this type of SaaS feedback - Before building a SaaS product, you need to understand what users are looking for. It’s smart to talk with target customers before you even prototype your product
How to collect this feedback - There are many different ways to collect this sort of feedback. You can pay a market research company like Centiment or SurveyMonkey. You can cold call and cold email target users and ask for a quick interview. Or you can ask friends and colleagues to introduce you to the right contacts to interview.
2. Low fidelity prototype feedback
Definition of this type of SaaS feedback - After creating a low fidelity prototype (such as a PDF file or a drawing on a whiteboard), you need to get feedback on the dashboard and features.
How to collect this feedback - For this type of feedback, you shouldn’t use a market research company but should reach out directly to target users. You can do this on social media, with cold outbound email, or by requesting introductions from people you know. Your low fidelity prototype most likely won’t be self explanatory, so ask each contact to hop on a 10-minute call to get their feedback. What you’re looking for is data on what users actually want you to build and what are the most critical features for your MVP.
3. High fidelity prototype feedback
Definition of this type of SaaS feedback - You can create a realistic prototype using Adobe XD, Invision, or Miro. Then, you’ll want to collect feedback on the high fidelity prototype before turning that prototype into the backlog required to build your MVP.
How to collect this feedback - Similar to the points above on low fidelity prototypes, you need to build direct relationships with target users. This type of prototype should be a bit more self explanatory, so you could collect feedback via email or survey, but quick screensharing phone calls or in-person user testing will be more ideal.
4. Beta user feedback
Definition of this type of SaaS feedback - After you’ve created an MVP based on your validated prototype, the next step is getting beta users. You’ll want to find out what they think of your product, what features they want to see, and how well it addresses their problems.
How to collect this feedback - If you’re giving away free lifetime access to your beta users, they should reciprocate by giving you suggestions and helping with QA. You could make a private Slack channel or Facebook group for your beta users, or set up a customer feedback portal with Frill so everyone can add ideas at any time.
5. New product or feature launch feedback
Definition of this type of SaaS feedback - When you launch any new product or feature, you need to discover what users think about the overal user experience, the efficacy of the functionality, and whether or not it met their expectations and goals.
How to collect this feedback - When you launch something new, take the opportunity to point users in the direction of your feedback portal. This way they learn where to submit feedback now and in the future. You could promote your feedback portal on your website with an announcement bar and in your email newsletter.
Sign up to Frill
Ready to automate your customer feedback? Or perhaps create a public Roadmap? Get started with Frill’s free plan.Try Frill For Free
6. Existing feature feedback
Definition of this type of SaaS feedback -This could be suggestions, bug discoveries, functionality improvements, design ideas, etc.
How to collect this feedback - Feedback will often come from all angles. It can come from your customer community, customer support chats, replies to your marketing emails, and other channels. It’s smart to train customers where to give you feedback and to be proactive about how you collect it. A feedback portal or widget where users can submit ideas at any time is your best bet.
7. Desired feature feedback
Definition of this type of SaaS feedback - These are suggestions for new features that your users want you to add to your product, or features that need UX or functionality improvements.
How to collect this feedback - Your life will be a whole lot easier if you start training users where to leave this kind of feedback. Create a dedicated platform for collecting feature ideas and link to it from multiple sources (your website, inside of your app, onboarding emails, etc.)
8. Sales process feedback
Definition of this type of SaaS feedback - Your sales process will largely depend on the annual cost of your software. Software below $500 per year is typically sold without demos, but software over around $1000 per year can be sold with direct credit card payments and demos. But these standards don’t mean there’s not room for improvement. You can get data on every part of your funnel and sales cycle.
How to collect this feedback - Ask users for feedback on your website. For example, you could have a feedback widget for people who have been on your pricing page for longer than 60 seconds. The chat pop-up could ask if they have any questions on the pricing. For inside sales, your account executives could regularly ask for feedback from leads and closed accounts during the end of the sales cycle.
How to organize SaaS feedback
While there are many different types of SaaS feedback, the most important type for any product-led team is feedback on your current features and UX.
It’s smart to have one central place to collect all of this feedback.
Here’s what Frill’s own Frill board looks like:
We have four different labels that organize the user’s feedback.
With Frill, you can create as many columns as you want, and manually assign the right label after a user has submitted an idea.
There are a lot of benefits to having a dedicated feedback board:
Consolidate feedback in one place
Gradually train users where to leave feedback
Ability to engage and communicate with users for more context
The user engagement piece is essential, as this can foster even more loyalty to your product.
How to engage users and get feedback 24/7
People are busy, especially B2B software users. It’s important to understand that getting feedback from your users is like getting a free gift. Sure, it could benefit them if you build it, but it’s really a favor that they are giving you.
It’s so important to be encouraging and grateful.
Here are some best practices when it comes to requesting and encouraging SaaS feedback.
Close the feedback loop
Don’t make it difficult for users to leave feedback. A tight feedback loop is simple and easy.
Use one consolidated portal for SaaS feedback
Make sure that portal has simple UX
Don’t ask too many questions or attempt to collect a lot of data points
Leave the suggestion collection open-ended
Communicate with users whether or not you will use their suggestions
You should respond to every user whether or not you plan to implement their feedback. Whatever feedback collection tool you use should make it easy to communicate back and forth with your users.
If you’ve implemented SSO, they can offer feedback with the same login they use for your SaaS platform.
Other users should also be able to hop in on the conversation to offer their take.
Reward users who regularly provide constructive feedback
Everyone knows what a power user is. But what about a power critic?
If you’ve got users who are always offering suggestions, you should thank them for their time. While you might not be willing to give your software subscription away for free, you can find other ways to show your appreciation. You could send them an Amazon gift card, offer some swag, or if it makes sense, an in-depth customer success or strategy session.
Set up an announcements page to showcase your listening and innovation
Users want to rely on software that is going to get better with time, not worse. (Those are the only two options, really.)
Showcase your business as one that cares about users and wants to continually innovate.
You can do this by showing your announcements in your feedback portal and on your website.
Create a new announcement for any update—big or small—that you want users to know about.
While there are many types of SaaS feedback, none are so critical as the feedback you collect about your product. After all, without this customer feedback, you wouldn’t be able to build something that people want to pay for and you could lose out to competitors who are more in touch with the end user experience.
Frill is a customer feedback, roadmap, and announcement tool for SaaS. Check out our free and affordable plans.